Third body found, Navy calls off search for Dornier aircraft

With the recovery of mortal remains of Lieutenant Abhinay Nagori, the Indian Navy has called off search for the crew of its ill-fated Dornier surveillance aircraft that crashed off the coast of Goa last Tuesday.

The Flight Data Recorder of the aircraft has also been recovered.

Nagori’s body was found and recovered from fuselage of the aircraft late on Thursday, official sources said in New Delhi. The body of his colleague Lieutenant Kiran Shekhawat was recovered earlier.

Commander Nikhil Kuldip Joshi, who was flying the surveillance aircraft, survived the crash and was rescued by a fishing vessel.

The surveillance aircraft was on a routine training sortie when it crashed at around 11 pm. The Navy launched a search and rescue operation, involving 12 vessels, including two from Indian Coast Guard. Four aircraft were also pressed into service.

A hydrographic vessel of Indian Navy, INS Makar, first detected a large metallic object on the seabed, which was later confirmed to be the fuselage of the ill-fated aircraft. It was found near the last known position of the aircraft.

The INS Matanga with divers of the Indian Navy reached the scene and diving operations commenced on Thursday.

The body of Lt Shekhawat was found first and she became the first lady officer of Indian Navy to have died in a service aircraft crash.

Nagori’s body was found later and brought to Goa. The Flight Data Recorder would be examined by the experts and a panel comprising senior Indian Navy personnel would conduct a probe into the incident.

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